The Crooked Path

Written April 26th, 2010
Categories: Overcoming Obstacles
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by Carolyn Babcock, Ph.D.

Today a colleague of mine recounted her journey from China to the United States. She said that one day she was in Shanghai, and the next, at a college in Pennsylvania. “What a difference a day makes, “ she said. She has remained in the United States after getting her doctorate from a university in upstate New York.

I started thinking about my own circuitous journey (see bio), and how it was anything but a straight path from there to here. There were so many forks in the road, followed by twists and turns, hills and valleys. I chose to take a chance on a Community College a long time ago, and that set the wheels in motion to begin my journey. All along my path, I made decisions that bore unknown long-term outcomes. I often made choices that seemed to satisfy short-term goals, such as a needed course, or a short-term problem, such as taking a semester off. Every one of those decisions cut a new curve in the path, or, perhaps took me to a new place. One after another, decision after decision, my course was being laid. It brought me to here.

So, I started thinking about you – about your circuitous path. What decisions have you made in your life that have led you to this point in time where you are considering returning to school? Perhaps you are responding to a need, even a crisis in your life. Perhaps previous crises or responsibilities put some bends in your road. But, here you are, at another fork, making another choice.

I have never regretted choosing school. It is the choice that often makes other choices possible. Every course you take, every text you read, and every paper you write becomes information that will inform your future choices.

Have you ever taken a long walk on a curvy path and looked back to see how far you have trekked? I invite you to look back now, smile to yourself, and then face the crooked path ahead.


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